PREVIOUSLY, March 30: Fox’s specialty arm acquired worldwide rights minus France and other French-speaking territories to He Named Me Malala, according to a statement from Fox Searchlight Pictures presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula. Studiocanal will distribute the Davis Guggenheim pic in France. The film is slated for release this year.
Produced by Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald under their long-term production partnership with Image Nation Abu Dhabi and co-financed by Participant Media, Malala is described as “an intimate portrait of Malala Yousafzai, who was wounded when Taliban gunmen opened fire on her and her friends’ school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. The then-15-year-old, who had been targeted for speaking out on behalf of girls’ education in her region, was shot in the head, sparking international media outrage. An educational activist in Pakistan, Yousafzai has since emerged as a leading campaigner for the rights of children worldwide and in December 2014 became the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
Executive producers include Mohamed Al Mubarak and Michael Garin from Image Nation Abu Dhabi and Jeff Skoll for Participant.
The launching of the film will coincide with an international advocacy and fundraising campaign in partnership with the Malala Fund, Malala’s nonprofit organization working to empower adolescent girls globally through a quality secondary education.
The deal was brokered by Fox Searchlight’s EVP Worldwide Acquisitions Tony Safford; SVP Business Affairs Megan O’Brien; and SVP Acquisitions & Co-Productions Ray Strache, and Julian Zajfen at Ziffren Brittenham, which represented the filmmakers.